This week I've been mostly working on the Clara Bow Blouse from Til The Sun Goes Down. The pattern is inspired by 1930's designs and includes some nice design details such as a topstitched yoke, double bust darts and a buttoned side fastening. It doesn't require much fabric either, so I decided to try out the sleeveless version using some green vintage chambray from my stash.
First off, you'll notice that there isn't actually a bow on my version! The bow is simply a rectangle of fabric (or you can use a handkerchief if you prefer) tied through a buttonhole at the centre front. I quite liked the neat look of the unadorned yoke, so didn't bother adding a buttonhole. I may add a bow later if I get a sudden yearning, but for now it's bow-less.
The pattern is well drafted and the instructions on the whole are precise and easy to follow. The diagrams were particularly helpful when trying to work out a couple of trickier areas such as the yoke and the button placket. The yoke construction is clever, it's basically sewing a facing in reverse.
|This is the outside view of the front bodice|
The right side of the yoke is stitched to the wrong side of the blouse, then flipped round to the right side and top stitched down - easy! Just make sure you pay careful attention to your right sides and wrong sides at this point as it can get confusing. It's also worth noting that the shoulder seams are sewn wrong sides together for a clean finish on the inside (the raw edges are enclosed by the yoke).
The button placket at the side seam was another new-to-me technique and despite not being a fan of any kind of side opening, I quite like how it looks.
|Very awkward side view, but you get the general idea|
Unfortunately my buttonhole foot was being a complete pain in the arse when I made this top and I had to abandon the idea of buttons altogether. Instead, I used snaps, which was an idea given to me by Christina at Gussets and Godets when we met up for a coffee and sewing chat recently. Yes, snaps aren't particularly vintage looking and some nice old buttons would probably have looked better, but they're so quick and easy to apply. I have one of those wrench tool things for applying them and the entire placket took about ten minutes from start to finish, I'm a convert!
With regards to fit I should definitely have made a muslin as there are several things I'd do differently next time round. Size-wise I went by the finished garment measurements and cut a size 10, which was a tad optimistic! There's much less ease in the finished blouse than I was expecting. It's wearable, but a tight in the bust area, so next time I'll cut a size 12 with a full bust adjustment. I'll also lower the bust darts and lengthen the whole blouse as it's pretty short, even on me!
It looks ok with jeans….
and I like how it looks underneath a cardigan….
But I'll mostly wear it with my Simplicity 2451 skirt (see picture at beginning of this post) - the two garments seem to work well together with the blouse untucked. And you get a double chambray hit! x